Patrons at WCMF 2014

McCarthy Marie, one of the original organizers of the World Creole Music Festival (WCMF), has sought to shed some light on the idea of profits as far as the event is concerned.

In an exclusive interview with DNO, Marie said the original intention of the festival was “to make money” for Dominica not to make a profit for itself.

“The main idea was to make Dominica make money or make a profit but some people thought that would also make a profit at the event itself, which is a thing I knew from the beginning was an impossibility,” he explained.

He pointed out that during the early stages of the festival, he was one of those who said that it was impossible for the festival to make a profit for itself but some people made statements on the media to the effect, “that this is a thing that’s going to make a profit and since then this idea of profit has stuck in people’s minds as a recurring decimal.”

MC Cathy Marie

Marie, who is an economist and the President of the Dominica’s Association of Music Professionals (AMP), went on to say some people thought a profit could be made by getting more money at the gate than the amount of money that was spent to organize the festival but that is not the case.

He said instead the matter has to do with the economic benefits of the event.

“It would be a good thing for the Dominican economy but the organization will not get more money in than they put out,” he stated.

He describes the festival as a bait to bring visitors to the island.

Marie has some ideas for the festival which he believes will benefit the island even more.

He thinks the hours of the festival are too long and should be shortened.

“The fact that the festival goes all night long leaves little time for the patrons who come from abroad to go on site seeing tours and spend more money,” he stated. “Indeed if it could end earlier, I think the country would benefit more from the festival because the people get more than enough from three to four bands a night,”

According to Marie, most people are accustomed to a show or concert as a two-hour event.

He said, for example, it would be ideal if the festival starts at 8:00 p.m and ends at 1:00 a.m.

“It leaves time for people who want to party still to go to party somewhere else, to pay another money and those who want to go home to sleep, go home and sleep so that they can rest and next day they can go on tours and buy souvenirs elsewhere,” he explained.

He noted that most of the benefits of the festival come from hotels rooms and people renting rooms for patrons, adding that “if you rent rooms for 3 nights, that’s good but it would be better if we rented rooms for 6 nights.”

Marie believes that organizers should make a decision that any tourist who comes to Dominica shouldn’t be allowed to go home with money in his or her pocket.

“You should give him things to spend his money on all the time that he is here,” he remarked.

Marie said Dominica benefits tremendously from the festival.

“The grand recognition and respect for the festival outside of Dominica, especially in the Caribbean is extremely high; much higher than people of Dominica think of it,” he said. “Our festival is unique in more ways than one.”